Marysville School District considering closing three schools

MARYSVILLE, Wash — Things were tense during the Marysville School Board meeting Monday evening as parents, teachers of Liberty and Cascade Elementary and Totem Middle School address the board about the potential of those three schools shutting their doors down for good in the near future.

The district sent out this letter last week on the idea of consolidation:

Dear Marysville School District Families and Staff,

Recently, district leaders met with staff at Cascade Elementary School, Liberty Elementary School, and Totem Middle School to share news and information about the schools and future plans, given the declining enrollment and the age of the buildings. As you may have read or heard about in local news or on social media, the district’s revised comprehensive financial plan states school closures or consolidation as part of the reductions based on declining enrollment. The district has also directly communicated with the schools’ families about the potential plans.

These three schools, constructed in the 1940s and 50s with some later upgrades, will be recommended to the school board for potential closure for the 2025 - 2026 school year. School closure does not mean loss of jobs for staff, as staff will follow students. Students would be distributed to other schools based on feeder patterns and through potential boundary shifts.

This decision was not made lightly but with educationally and financially sound thought processes. Over the coming year, there will be opportunities to learn more about the school closure process.

Please contact your school principal with questions or concerns or reach out through Let’s Talk at https://www.msd25.org/o/district/page/lets-talk.

As a reminder, this is NOT for next school year and will only occur after a year of planning and community opportunities to learn more about the process, including final approval from the school board.

Thank you for your continued support of the students we serve and our schools in the Marysville School District.

KIRO7 caught up with staff from the schools impacted and their thoughts on how this could be harmful to students.

“They could be splitting up with their friends, the teachers they know, the supports they have in place,” Holly Sundstrom, a teacher at Totem Middle School said.

But J Hooman with the Marysville Community Coalition says the district hasn’t been fully transparent about these recommendations.

“There wasn’t really any notification district wide or community wide that was the intentions for the district,” Hooman said.

KIRO 7 also learned during Monday’s meeting that the district’s Director of Finance and Operations Dr. Lisa Gonzales was placed on administrative leave.

Dr. Gonzales even passed out 3-page letters to parents outside the meeting highlighting what all has transpired in recent months.

KIRO 7 obtained a copy of the letter.

Dr. Gonzales states she was informed on May 22nd that she would no longer be employed at the end of her contact. Then, on May 31st, she says she was placed on paid leave without explanation. The letter goes on to say that the school board should place Superintendent Dr. Zachary Robbins and the Executive Director of Human Resources on leave and bring in external investigators to review all evidence.

KIRO 7 asked both Dr. Robbins and the School Board for comment following parents’ comments as well as the letter from Dr. Gonzales passed around.

Both declined to comment.

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